Post(s) tagged with "Economics"

The upshot is that teen motherhood is much more a consequence of intense poverty than its cause. Preaching good behavior won’t do anything to reduce its incidence, and even handing out free birth control won’t contribute meaningfully to solving economic problems. Instead, family life seems to follow real economic opportunities. Where poor people can see that hard work and “playing by the rules” will reward them, they’re pretty likely to do just that. Where the system looks stacked against them, they’re more likely to abandon mainstream norms. Those who do so by becoming single teen moms end up fairing poorly in life, but those bad outcomes seem to be a result of bleak underlying circumstances rather than poor choices.

- Matt Yglesias at Slate, explaining that getting pregnant doesn’t make teen girls more likely to be poor throughout life. Being poor makes teen girls more likely to get pregnant. Poverty isn’t something inflicted on teen mothers by some vindictive paternalistic cosmos, y’all… (via thepoliticalnotebook)

Sweet Poisons: Not rude at all. Just curious, which is to be praised. Apologies for... ⇢

yj3t:

Not rude at all. Just curious, which is to be praised. Apologies for any unwanted length to this response; I tend to strive to be thorough if you get me going.

Short(er) answer: I dislike Obama because I disagree with his misguided policies pretty much across the board, but his skill as a shyster and the perceived importance of his status as the first black president makes that largely irrelevant to many, many people.

Granted, it follows naturally from the fact that he’s a politician that he’s really, really good at lying. A lying politician is not unexpected or surprising. What issurprising, and tear-your-hair-out frustrating, is how good he is at it, and how many people are okay—no, beyond happy with it.

Language experts (and many, many voters, including myself) will tell you that Obama’s skill as an orator—his diction, his sense of rhythm, his ability to deflectcriticism and amplify praise from the crowd—is unmatched by anyone currently running. It doesn’t matter what he says, because he has the ability to make the crowd feel the way he wants them to feel. That’s Obama’s “cult of personality.” He looks good, he sounds good, and people love him, but those are not the signs of a good leader. I’m not saying that being unskilled as an orator is preferable, but using one’s skill to perpetuate terrible ideas (or smear good ideas) is repellant to me.

And he has plenty of terrible ideas. His economic policies are tepid and ineffectual at best, mind-bogglingly disastrous at worst. The people who think he’s doing a good job are either purposely trying to destroy the dollar, or are in some way economically illiterate (the latter is more likely). Sometimes it’s both, such as when someone argues that we need to “eat the rich” to fix our problems—it’s not that simple. One must consider how the rich got rich in the first place, what kind of help they had to get there, and from where they actually derive their power.

On top of all of this, it’s beyond frustrating trying to have a conversation about the 2012 election. Criticism of Obama is met with an inordinate amount of stonewalling, snark, and ignorance in return. They’ll start by calling opponents names (“You’re just a racist/classist/warmongering Republican/cisprivileged/white Christian male/etc.”) that have no bearing on the truth or falsehood of that which is being discussed, and then move on to lightly brushing off the fact that their guy made it legal to assassinate American citizens without trial, actively raids medical marijuana dispensaries, jokes about killing kids with Predator drones, etc.. If they don’t go that far, expect them to change the subject to something much more inconsequential, like gay marriage rights. (To be clear, I’m as supportive of gays getting married as I am of straights, i.e. I don’t give a damn unless you’re trying to marry me. The state should be out of everyone’s marriages, the same as with their bedrooms and their wallets.)

Hell… Obama would probably be a fun guy to have a beer with (if I liked beer). He’s got a good sense of humor and handles himself well. But at risk of being cliche, actions speak louder than words, especially in politics. If I’m adamant about my dislike for the man, it’s because others still blindly support his ideas, and put him forward as mascot. He promises the world, and delivers—in the form of making them feel good/self-righteous about themselves. I’d like real change, which is why I support Ron Paul when I’m in minarchist mode.

(As an addendum in point of fairness, you may have also noticed that I dislike Rick “Frothy” Santorum just as much as Obama, for many of the same reasons. The key difference is that Santorum doesn’t have the broad appeal of Obama [read: he’s never had any friends], so he’s a theocrat instead of a socialist, peddling his authoritarian ideals.)

I’m not up to date with US presidency candidates but that’s not the point: I dislike Obama just because he’s lobbists’ front man-as you rightly said, Viti- just like any other politician in all western countries (except Greece and Italy which prime ministers works for the IMF and the World Bank too). I’m fed up with politics, I think I’ll vote for none in the next general election here in Italy. Democracy looks useless in this very moment, it’s only a ritual to confirm yet made decisions we cannot discuss; to oppose dominant liberistic doctrine (even in this huge world crises it created!) is an heretic initiative so we need a real global alternative, not just a new horse for the ordinary ride.

Source: luminousaether

Greece bartering system popular in Volos ⇢

3nding:

Il baratto. Capiamoci.

Source: 3nding

Today’s gap between North and South—the rich developed societies and the rest of the world—was largely created by the global conquest.
Scholarship and science are beginning to recognize a record that had been concealed by imperial arrogance. They are discovering that at the time of the arrival of the Europeans, and long before, the Western hemisphere was home to some of the world’s most advanced civilizations. In the poorest country of South America, archaeologists are coming to believe that eastern Bolivia was the site of a wealthy, sophisticated, and complex society of perhaps a million people. In their words, it was the site of “one of the largest, strangest, and most ecologically rich artificial environments on the face of the planet, with causeways and canals, spacious and formal towns and considerable wealth,” creating a landscape that was “one of humankind’s greatest works of art, a masterpiece.” In the Peruvian Andes, by 1491 the Inka had created the greatest empire in the world, greater in scale than the Chinese, Russian, Ottoman, or other empires, far greater than any European state, and with remarkable artistic, agricultural, and other achievements.

- Hopes and Prospects - Noam Chomsky (via noam-chomsky)

Ask yourself: What has harmed more people on the planet, terrorist brutality or Wall Street venality?

- DANIL SEMYONOV (via knowledgereinsupreme)

soupsoup:

An oversimplified version of what one Occupy protester explained to me yesterday as his ideal monetary system 

soupsoup:

An oversimplified version of what one Occupy protester explained to me yesterday as his ideal monetary system 

Source: soupsoup

solitaryforager:

Noam Chomsky: America’s Decline Is Real — and Increasingly Self-Inflicted
 By 1970, U.S. share of world wealth had dropped to about 25%, roughly where it remains, still colossal but far below the end of World War II.  By then, the industrial world was “tripolar”: US-based North America, German-based Europe, and East Asia, already the most dynamic industrial region, at the time Japan-based, but by now including the former Japanese colonies Taiwan and South Korea, and more recently China.
At about that time, American decline entered a new phase: conscious self-inflicted decline.  From the 1970s, there has been a significant change in the U.S. economy, as planners, private and state, shifted it toward financialization and the offshoring of production, driven in part by the declining rate of profit in domestic manufacturing.  These decisions initiated a vicious cycle in which wealth became highly concentrated (dramatically so in the top 0.1% of the population), yielding concentration of political power, hence legislation to carry the cycle further: taxation and other fiscal policies, deregulation, changes in the rules of corporate governance allowing huge gains for executives, and so on.
Meanwhile, for the majority, real wages largely stagnated, and people were able to get by only by sharply increased workloads (far beyond Europe), unsustainable debt, and repeated bubbles since the Reagan years, creating paper wealth that inevitably disappeared when they burst (and the perpetrators were bailed out by the taxpayer).  In parallel, the political system has been increasingly shredded as both parties are driven deeper into corporate pockets with the escalating cost of elections, the Republicans to the level of farce, the Democrats (now largely the former “moderate Republicans”) not far behind.
A recent study by the Economic Policy Institute, which has been the major source of reputable data on these developments for years, is entitled Failure by Design.  The phrase “by design” is accurate.  Other choices were certainly possible.  And as the study points out, the “failure” is class-based.  There is no failure for the designers.  Far from it.  Rather, the policies are a failure for the large majority, the 99% in the imagery of the Occupy movements — and for the country, which has declined and will continue to do so under these policies.

solitaryforager:

Noam Chomsky: America’s Decline Is Real — and Increasingly Self-Inflicted

 By 1970, U.S. share of world wealth had dropped to about 25%, roughly where it remains, still colossal but far below the end of World War II.  By then, the industrial world was “tripolar”: US-based North America, German-based Europe, and East Asia, already the most dynamic industrial region, at the time Japan-based, but by now including the former Japanese colonies Taiwan and South Korea, and more recently China.

At about that time, American decline entered a new phase: conscious self-inflicted decline.  From the 1970s, there has been a significant change in the U.S. economy, as planners, private and state, shifted it toward financialization and the offshoring of production, driven in part by the declining rate of profit in domestic manufacturing.  These decisions initiated a vicious cycle in which wealth became highly concentrated (dramatically so in the top 0.1% of the population), yielding concentration of political power, hence legislation to carry the cycle further: taxation and other fiscal policies, deregulation, changes in the rules of corporate governance allowing huge gains for executives, and so on.

Meanwhile, for the majority, real wages largely stagnated, and people were able to get by only by sharply increased workloads (far beyond Europe), unsustainable debt, and repeated bubbles since the Reagan years, creating paper wealth that inevitably disappeared when they burst (and the perpetrators were bailed out by the taxpayer).  In parallel, the political system has been increasingly shredded as both parties are driven deeper into corporate pockets with the escalating cost of elections, the Republicans to the level of farce, the Democrats (now largely the former “moderate Republicans”) not far behind.

A recent study by the Economic Policy Institute, which has been the major source of reputable data on these developments for years, is entitled Failure by Design.  The phrase “by design” is accurate.  Other choices were certainly possible.  And as the study points out, the “failure” is class-based.  There is no failure for the designers.  Far from it.  Rather, the policies are a failure for the large majority, the 99% in the imagery of the Occupy movements — and for the country, which has declined and will continue to do so under these policies.

ilovecharts:

Brand Spankin’ New Inequality Charts

ilovecharts:

Brand Spankin’ New Inequality Charts

Source: Mother Jones

rtamerica:

Moody’s downgrades EU countries amidst Greek riots (by RTAmerica)

Source: youtube.com

Source: genderterrorist

Angela Dorothea Merkel

Angela Dorothea Merkel

solitaryforager:

At World Economic Forum, Fear of Global Contagion Dominates
They came, they feasted on smoked sturgeon and black truffle risotto, drank liquor paid for by global banks, endured dozens of security checks, and tried not to fall down in the snow. They talked about the perilous state of the global economy and the future of capitalism. Then, they headed back to their home countries — many in chauffeured limousines, some by private jet.
But as the people who run much of the planet wrapped up the annual festival of influence known as the World Economic Forum on Saturday, any sense of achievement was hard to discern. The participants arrived amid elevated unemployment in many economies, worries about government budget deficits, and fears that contagion from a financial crisis in Europe could infect the rest of the world. They went home with all of these worries intact, and perhaps reinforced.
Nouriel Roubini, the economist who — not for nothing — is known as “Doctor Doom,” noted that world leaders are divided on a great array of crucial issues, from arguments over trade imbalances and currency valuations to the threats posed by Iran and North Korea and the challenge of climate change.
“On all these issues that require international coordination, there is no agreement,” he said during a Saturday morning panel. “It’s a world of chaos that can lead to potential conflicts.”European officials confronted a palpable sense of impatience and resentment from their counterparts, drawing accusations that they have imperiled the fate of the globe by repeatedly failing to prop up ailing member states.
In private conversations here this week, senior officials from the United States, Europe and Asia expressed a mixture of resignation and alarm that Greece may yet default on its government debts, despite several efforts by eurozone members to cobble together a credible rescue. Some warned that such an outcome could spook investors into pulling funds out of larger economies such as Italy and Spain, raising the prospect of defaults in those countries. A few suggested this could eventually trigger the breakup of the eurozone and the end of its shared currency, an event that could produce panic rivaling that seen after the investment banking giant Lehman Brothers collapsed more than three years ago.
In a riveting address here on Saturday, Hong Kong leader Donald Tsang recalled his place at the epicenter of the Asian financial crisis in the late 1990s, and the experience of the 2008 global credit pullback, asserting that the current situation is worse.
“I’ve never been as scared as now about the world, what is happening in Europe,” he said.
Hong Kong faces little direct exposure to potential defaults on European government bonds, Tsang added, but the global financial system is now so interconnected that this confers no protection. He wondered aloud about the health of financial institutions that trade with Hong Kong’s banks and the potential for trouble rippling out from the eurozone.
“We do not know how deep this hole will be when the whole thing implodes on us,” he said. “Nobody is immune.”

solitaryforager:

At World Economic Forum, Fear of Global Contagion Dominates

They came, they feasted on smoked sturgeon and black truffle risotto, drank liquor paid for by global banks, endured dozens of security checks, and tried not to fall down in the snow. They talked about the perilous state of the global economy and the future of capitalism. Then, they headed back to their home countries — many in chauffeured limousines, some by private jet.

But as the people who run much of the planet wrapped up the annual festival of influence known as the World Economic Forum on Saturday, any sense of achievement was hard to discern. The participants arrived amid elevated unemployment in many economies, worries about government budget deficits, and fears that contagion from a financial crisis in Europe could infect the rest of the world. They went home with all of these worries intact, and perhaps reinforced.

Nouriel Roubini, the economist who — not for nothing — is known as “Doctor Doom,” noted that world leaders are divided on a great array of crucial issues, from arguments over trade imbalances and currency valuations to the threats posed by Iran and North Korea and the challenge of climate change.

“On all these issues that require international coordination, there is no agreement,” he said during a Saturday morning panel. “It’s a world of chaos that can lead to potential conflicts.”

European officials confronted a palpable sense of impatience and resentment from their counterparts, drawing accusations that they have imperiled the fate of the globe by repeatedly failing to prop up ailing member states.

In private conversations here this week, senior officials from the United States, Europe and Asia expressed a mixture of resignation and alarm that Greece may yet default on its government debts, despite several efforts by eurozone members to cobble together a credible rescue. Some warned that such an outcome could spook investors into pulling funds out of larger economies such as Italy and Spain, raising the prospect of defaults in those countries. A few suggested this could eventually trigger the breakup of the eurozone and the end of its shared currency, an event that could produce panic rivaling that seen after the investment banking giant Lehman Brothers collapsed more than three years ago.

In a riveting address here on Saturday, Hong Kong leader Donald Tsang recalled his place at the epicenter of the Asian financial crisis in the late 1990s, and the experience of the 2008 global credit pullback, asserting that the current situation is worse.

“I’ve never been as scared as now about the world, what is happening in Europe,” he said.

Hong Kong faces little direct exposure to potential defaults on European government bonds, Tsang added, but the global financial system is now so interconnected that this confers no protection. He wondered aloud about the health of financial institutions that trade with Hong Kong’s banks and the potential for trouble rippling out from the eurozone.

“We do not know how deep this hole will be when the whole thing implodes on us,” he said. “Nobody is immune.”

Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell.

-

Edward Abbey

…and civilization, insofar there is a difference.

(via cultureofresistance)

Source: socialistscum

Loading more posts

I cannot give a definition about myself. I'm a changing phenomenon like you.

I cannot give a definition about myself. I'm a changing phenomenon like you. 


Ask me anything Submit

Ask

Members

Following